A Perfect Werchter

Belgium’s award-winning Rock Werchter festival equaled last year’s record-breaking crowd of 340,000, but seems to have surpassed itself in every other respect.

The 67,000 four-day tickets were sold out in advance and the 18,000 day tickets also went.

Festival chief Herman Schueremans was particularly pleased because 114,000 of the 139,000 people who went through the gate chose to arrive by public transport.

For several year,s free public transport has been included in the Werchter ticket price to prevent the small village near Leuven being turned into a traffic jam. Schueremans felt there were also several other factors that contributed to the 39th staging of the event being the perfect Werchter.

“The weather was bad until about a week before the event and it was almost as if we had started the summer,” he told Pollstar. “There was no trouble of any sort, no fuss and it all ran very smoothly.”

There were also visits from old friends. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds became the first act to play the festival in four successive decades, having previously been at Rock Werchter in 1989, 1998 and 2009.

The Werchter crowd included visitors from 69 countries, with The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Norway providing the most.

A week earlier, the Belgian festival season had made a bright start when Graspop Metal Meeting, the country’s premier rock bash, and the multicultural Couleur Café (both June 28-30) returned good figures.

The rock fest at Bessel, which had Iron MaidenSlipknotBullet For My ValentineKorn, and Kreator, did nearly 45,000 per day.

Couleur Café attracted a sold-out, 27,500-daily crowd to the Tour and Taxis site in Brussels for a lineup including FaithlessJimmy CliffFat Freddy’s DropCalexicoBirdy Nam Nam and Cody Chesnutt

Others on the Rock Werchter bill July 4-7 included Green DayKings Of LeonRammsteinDepeche ModeThirty Seconds To MarsVolbeatAlt-JGogol Bordello, and Biffy Clyro.